- Main Imaging Center
- 400 East 66th Street
- New York, NY 10021
- PET/CT and Nuclear Medicine Divison
- 340 East 64th Street
- New York, NY 10021
- Cardiovascular Divison
- 203 East 60th Street
- New York, NY 10022
What is an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)?
An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. It is useful to evaluate for kidney and bladder stones, obstruction, and tumors of the urinary tract. An IVP study uses an intravenous contrast material to enhance the x-ray images. The contrast material is injected into an arm vein, and is ultimately excreted through the urinary tract. The passage of dye through the urinary tract is recorded on X-ray film at specified intervals, usually up to an hour after injection, but the study may last several hours under certain circumstances.
When the contrast material is injected, some people report feeling a flush of heat and sometimes a metallic taste in the mouth. These common side effects usually disappear within a minute or two, and are no cause for alarm. Some people experience a mild itching sensation, which usually goes away by itself. If the itching persists or is accompanied by hives, antihistamines like Benadryl can be administered for relief. In very rare cases, a patient may become short of breath or experience swelling in the throat or other parts of the body. These can be indications of a more serious allergic reaction to the contrast material that should be treated promptly, so inform the radiologist immediately if you experience these symptoms. If you have ever experienced a prior reaction to the contrast, please inform your referring physician prior to the appointment. It may be possible to substitute the IVP with another type of study that does not require a contrast injection. If the IVP is still necessary, premedication with steroids and antihistamine can be ordered to lessen the chance of a contrast reaction. Women should always inform their doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.